I do think that Kerry did miss an opportunity. And Herman Jacobs has a point, that now that the war of words over Vietnam has begun anew, the vets are not going to leave it alone. Kerry did say things that were used against our POW’s during that war. He should have apologized for it. He did not, and they are not going to let him have it both ways.
But… something that goes even deeper for me… was something that Nome said to me last night. “Have you ever personally seen a war hero? Would you know one if you walked into a bar and saw him sitting there with his beer? Of course not. A hero does not brag about his heroism.”
She’s right. My grandfather was a hero, but I heard about it mostly from my grandmother and my father. He never talked about the war, the lives of fellow soldiers that he saved by dragging them out of combat to the medics. He never talked about any of it, and if he’d been a stranger and I’d seen him in a bar sipping a beer… I never would have pegged him for a hero.
John Kerry had a chance to be a real hero, as this article points out, and he blew it. It’s very sad too, there are a lot of people in this country and in other countries around the world that could use some healing over the Vietnam war.